Special treat for Gauri Pooja - Puran Poli

She is greatly interested in cooking and attempts to cook various dishes sometimes even on busy weeknights. She has moved to a new town and started working now after completing her masters. As a result her cooking has slowed down quite a bit. She also has gotten so busy that she eats out more often than she would like. She is my very dear friend. Last week we were talking about diwali special Maharashtrian recipes like karanji, chakali and chirote. We all know how difficult it is to make some of these things. They are time consuming and need a lot of patience. Quickly the conversation turned into nostalgia. We remembered all the special treats we both really love, modak, puran poli, chirote, chakali. We both realized if we love to eat these delicacies, we have to learn to make them as non of these specialties are available in any store or restaurants. Forget about these treats, none of the Maharashtrian specialties are available here in US in any stores and it makes me wonder why Maharashtrians don’t promote our food, culture anywhere!


This conversation made me feel grateful that my mother taught to make most of these special treats. It was a constant struggle, me not wanting to learn traditional recipes but wanting to make non Marathi food. My mom's will to teach was much stronger than my resistance. Now I feel very lucky to have learned to make these delicacies. I now enjoy making Puran poli and Ukadiche Modak.
Puranpoli is made throughout Maharashtra on various occasions like Gauri puja, Holi, Diwali. Today is Gauri Pooja and I wanted to share this special recipe with my dear friend and you all. Gauri pooja is part of ten days long Ganapati Utsav celebrated in Maharashtra. Its one festival we celebrate at my maternal grandmom's(ajji) place. I used to go to her place as a child and help my grandma with pooja and decoration. The next day she would prepare puran poli. She made the best puran polis ever, melt in mouth soft! Mummy makes them best too but she always says hers are not as good as ajji's! My friend is also fond of puran poli and wishes to make these one of these days.

Here is my attempt to jot down everything about Puranpoli.

Puran (Sweet lentil filling)
1 Cup Chana Daal
1 Cup Jaggery
1/2 tsp Cardamom Seeds
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Saffron (optional)
Water as needed

Dough for Cover -
1 Cup Wheat flour (or 1/2 cup APF + 1/2 cup Wheat flour)
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of Saffron soaked in water  (optional)
Water as needed
4-5 tbsp Oil (divided use)

Puranpoli cut to show layers and thickness
Preparation -
Dough -
Puranpoli dough is very special dough. Thin dough make puranpolis delicate.
Mix flour, salt and saffron mix together. Start adding water. Make dough similar to chapati dough. Once it is at the consistency, spread it in a large plate, poke some holes with hand and add bit of water over the top and let it sit down for 5-7 minutes.
Now mix the dough again and let it absorb all the water. The dough will be softer now but do NOT add any more dry flour.
Again add about 1 tbsp oil and couple of tbsp water and incorporate it in the dough.  Repeat this once or twice.
Dough is very sticky but pliable, gather everything together and pour 1 tbsp oil over. Oil will help collecting the dough together.
Keep dough in a bowl, pour 2 tbsp oil over it. Cover and keep aside.

Puran -
Pick over and wash chana daal thoroughly.
Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 10 minutes. It will not be cooked properly, just barely cooked.
In the meanwhile grate jaggery.
Once the pressure cooker has cooled off, boil about 3 cups of water in thick bottom vessel.
Once water starts boiling, lower the gas and pour cooked daal in it.
Let the daal cook at medium heat until it barely starts breaking down.
Cover the pot loosely and pour water out in another clean vessel. We use this water to make Katachi Amati.
Return the daal vessel to the gas and add grated jaggery and start stirring it constantly. It will start boiling in couple of minutes. Make sure all the jaggery pieces are dissolved.
Once the mixture starts boiling, it will start spluttering all over. At this point lower the heat and add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron threads.
Mix well and turn the heat off.
Now grind this mixture while its hot. These days I use immersion blender and it saves me cleaning food processor or grinder.
Puran (filling) is ready. Let it cool down completely.
You will have to judge the filling consistency. It has to be very similar to Alu-paratha filling.

Making puranpoli -
Heat a plain griddle on medium heat.
Take a 1 inch diameter size dough ball.
Take twice as much of filling and make oblong shaped ball.
with dry flour, flatten the dough ball in hand and skillfully stretch it over the filling to cover the filling completely. Using dry flour flatten this ball in a small thick bun shape.
Cover rolling pin and plain surface with flour, place prepared bun shape over it. Cover with little flour and start rolling it very delicately. Keep your rolling ping very light. Carefully make a round chapati (flat bread). You can stop rolling when it is about 6-7" in diameter.
Carefully put this chapati on the hot griddle and cook both the sides completely.

Repeat this for remaining dough and filling. Given proportions will yield about 7-8 puranpolis.

Tips -
  1. Puranachi poli bit time consuming but the end result makes it all worth it!!
  2. Be very very patient while making the dough and making the poli.
  3. You can practice with Aloo-parath or Daal-paratha.
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  1. Mints, love the look of the poli..polis are very famous in Andhra too. In Andhra, at least to what I know, Mom makes it only on Ugadi, whereas my MIL makes it for all festivals..:)..so it's been fun trying to combine both family customs..

  2. :) thnks for he detailed recipe thy look yum

  3. Did something go wrong here? Puranpoli looks stiff like gulpoli. Traditionally puranpolis are supposed to be silk-soft, melt-in-the-mouth kinds. I hope you'll take my comments in the right spirit. I have always enjoyed your recipes and I think you are an awesome cook and I truly appreciate the fact that you blog so much about our maharashtrian food and culture.

  4. Most of the Indian food popularized around the world is north Indian and a generic south Indian version spread by Udupi restaurants. It is indeed sad that the indigenous cuisine of most other states gets largely ignored, especially when you consider how delicious each one is. I love your version of Puran Poli, Mints. I wish I could have one. :)

  5. Thanks Valli and notyet100.

    Anonymous, nothing went wrong, the polis were pretty soft. The pictures are not great, don't do justice to the true texture of the polis. I just need better pictures that reveal the true texture of the polis. Will post better pictures when I make them next. :) Also, I used whole wheat flour from Trader Joe's which is more brown that the Indian store atta. But that didnt affect the texture of the polis. Thank you for kind words.

    Vaishali, you are exactly right about the restaurant foods here. Thank you for the compliments :)

  6. Thanks Minoti, I'll watch out for your new pics :)
    BTW, Marathi food has arrived in US restaurants. I was in Austin, TX over the weekend and they have this place which serves awesome malvani food. Here's the link.


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